Shrewsbury Prepatoria rated 'outstanding' by Ofsted in first inspection

Shrewsbury’s newest school has been rated ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted just weeks after it welcomed its first pupils.

Pupils at the school with principal Jane Smalley (left) and member of staff Victoria Wearing
Pupils at the school with principal Jane Smalley (left) and member of staff Victoria Wearing

The Prepatoria School, in Battlefield Enterprise Park, opened its doors to reception and Year One pupils at the start of September with a vision to build on the successful nursery and pre-school.

Inspectors visited in October and in the recent report they praised the school for its 'exceptional' leadership and high quality teaching, and said the behaviour of the children was excellent.

Principal Jane Smalley said it is highly unusual for an Ofsted inspection to take place so soon after it is launched.

"Parental demand for an alternative approach to schooling in the local area was strong, so I felt entirely confident that the principles on which our new independent school was based, addressed both a real need, while being steeped in a deep understanding of how children at this stage learn," she said.

“It was, nonetheless, a shock to be informed that we’d be inspected quite so early on and our two-day inspection was indeed thorough and rigorous. To therefore receive such a glowing report at this stage is an incredible achievement.”

Three Ofsted inspectors spent two full days at Shrewsbury Prepatoria in late October, reviewing systems and processes, observing classroom sessions and talking with staff.

The school's curriculum combines the principals of Reggio Emilia teaching, Montessori and the Scandinavian model.

It is the only school in the UK to open for 48 weeks of the year, to allow teaching to take place at a steadier pace.

Mrs Smalley added: "Progressing to full independent school status was natural after the success that our nursery and pre-school had achieved. To now have our vision with the Prepatoria School validated with such high praise by Ofsted really does make all the hard work that went into making this a reality, worth it.

“My background in early tears education, coupled with the desire of our parents to see a different approach to their children’s education, meant the development of an entirely new curriculum was necessary. Ofsted has now recognised this as being broad and balanced and delivered via a wealth of rich learning experiences and opportunities.

"It really is everything I could have hoped for and has been made possible thanks to the hard work on the entire Prepatoria team, as well as all the families who have committed to come on this journey with us.”

“This report has been a fabulous start to our journey but we will not allow its glow and excitement to detract from the delivery of a first-class experience for families across Shropshire."

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